Wednesday, November 17, 2010

“I even use . . . chalk”

From the New York Times, in response to an article on the use of clickers in college classes:

I teach college writing at a huge state school, and the other professors all request the “technology classrooms” so they can have all the gadgets and diversions — the big screen, the audio, the clickers. This year, I experimented with having a technology-free classroom. Students write with pencil and paper, we sit in a circle and look at one another, we talk, and we have discussions using rules of civility. I even use . . . chalk. The writing and learning has been absolutely amazing. Not every college classroom will be technology experience, so don’t forget to warn students they might get a professor like me.
This professor is on to something. There’s nothing more exciting in teaching and learning than unmediated communication in the little village of the classroom.

comments: 4

Rachel said...

Many of my professors who use powerpoint and then upload the slides online will test only from those slides...which means that being in class is like a secondary part of "learning." I would love to see professors take "technology-free" a step further and base quizzes, tests, and papers on subjects and ideas that come up in class discussions and lectures rather than quiz from the notes online. Talk about an incentive to come to class!

Michael Leddy said...

Right on, Rachel. :)

normann said...

PowerPoint in class? AAAAAGHHH! Testing only from the slides? There's hope for the future that some people appreciate interesting digressions in class, the essential difference between what you (can) get with a flesh-and-blood instructor and what an interactive teaching program offers.

Other Elaine said...

One of the benefits of retirement: no more CEUs. The last few years, every class I took featured PowerPoint presentations, and the speaker basically read the slides aloud to us; the slides were also printed up and given to us as hand-outs. Discussion and divergence were limited, and the single most descriptive word I can come up with is: deadly.